Dangerous Skin Bleaching Has Become A Public Health Crisis. Corporate Marketing Lies Behind It

In the past several years, multinational companies have advertised the theory that lighter epidermis leads to more success heavily. As a result, dangerous skin bleaching has turned into a public health crisis, based on the World Health Organization (WHO). In response, the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) recently handed a resolution suggesting a regional ban on makeup products with hydroquinone, a skin-bleaching agent – a ban that looks more likely to move. Several countries, including Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa, and Sudan, have also banned bleaching makeup products in recent months.

Despite these warnings and bans, the skin-whitening industry has experienced remarkable development in elements of Asia and Africa in recent years. A WHO report found that 77 percent of Nigerian women reported using skin-lightening products regularly nearly. In India, 61 percent of the skin-care market contains skin-lightening products. Experts task more development in a long time still.

However, in my research on the aesthetic industry’s global colors marketing, I found that banning bleaching realtors is counterproductive and might exacerbate the crisis, as I explain below. General market trends show continuing, exponential growth in the global market for skin-whitening products. 31.by the calendar year 2024 2 billion. Multinational brands Unilever, L’Oreal, and Beiersdorf are the three prominent players in this industry internationally. In Nigeria and India, both country-case studies in my chapter in the book “Race in the Marketplace,” Beiersdorf and Unilever have the biggest market shares respectively.

The dominance of multinational companies in the industry is creating a fresh dynamic in colors, the preference for lighter pores and skin shades among nonwhite bulk populations even. Their marketing is amplifying colonial-era associations of power and privilege with white skin already embedded in parts of Asia and Africa. Wanting to profit from a growing, aspirational middle-class consumer foundation in these areas, companies use advertising to link lighter skin with perceptions of not merely beauty but also socioeconomic mobility. In the first 2000s, Unilever began airing what became a notorious commercial for its Fair and Lovely whitening cream on Indian TV. In the ad, a dark-skinned little girl hears her father lament the family’s low financial status.

After she begins to use Fair and Lovely, her skin becomes lighter visibly, she lands a higher-paid job as a flight attendant, and the family’s circumstances improve. This commercial marked a more aggressive era in the marketing of colors. While in the past, skin-whitening products alluded vaguely to white as a beauty ideal, the newer marketing strategies straight underscored the economic and social mobility associated with whiteness and explicitly connected darker skin to socioeconomic stagnation. There can be a focus on global imagery such as Western-style clothes also, images of international airports and international beauty pageant contestants.

A 2017 Nigerian Beiersdorf commercial presented a scene where the black skin of Miss Nigeria Omowunmi Akinnifesi flipped practically white as she applied the Nivea Natural Fairness moisturizer. This new global marketing has generated a segmentation or a break up in the industry. While multinational brands to target the middle link and class skin tones to financial success, low-income, working-class consumers who are priced out of the higher-end branded products have searched for cheaper, local products with dangerous bleaching agencies such as hydroquinone. Multinational companies have taken care of immediately bans on bleaching by developing a distinction between harmful bleaching and so-called natural whitening products.

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Beiersdorf’s Nivea Natural Fairness cream touts the utilization of berry components that supposedly reduce overactive melanin without the use of bleaching real estate agents. Unilever, making Fair and Lovely along with Pond, promises the melanin-reducing advantages of its trademarked version of Vitamin B3 work without bleaching. L’Oreal similarly claims its White Perfect selection of products “unload unwanted melanin” with a special component called Melanin-Vanish. Moreover, advertising that casts melanin as a type or kind of abnormality that needs to be managed normalizes skin lightening, which encourages bleaching. Bans on bleaching agencies in specific countries or areas will tend to be ineffective as long as multinational corporations continue to aggressively market globalized, whiteness-based notions of beauty and interpersonal mobility.

At times, local groups push back. Women’s groups protested the Fair and commercial Lovely, which the company withdrew. But subsequent ads have continued to show a lighter skin as leading to socioeconomic mobility and success. Similarly, numerous others and Nigerians in your community protested the Nivea commercial; the company withdrew the ad in Ghana. Nevertheless, these businesses continue to use imagery and vocabulary about whitening, fairness and pores and skin brightening that might be undesirable in the Traditional western markets where these ongoing companies are headquartered. Without a coordinated global effort against multinationals’ colorist advertising, including social media and other consumer activism, bans alone are likely to remain ineffective.

The high SPF in those products is principally simply a vanity selling point for the crafty manufacturer. Which brings us to today’s contestants. They are made by Kokuryudo, the company responsible, among many other things, for Hipitch cleaning oil (not my favorite) and Point Magic Pro-face powder (incidentally, I that can compare with it).

I tried it at the store and promptly put it back on the shelf. Greasy, sticky, disgusting, leaving a white ensemble, ugh! Both gel and the true face powder, as is typical for Japanese drugstore makeup products, come packaged in tacky plastic boxes. I honestly have no idea which is worse – paper boxes, or plastic containers.